Restringing Navajo Pearls

There are a plethora of wire sizes and types out there and I don’t have a clue! I’m looking to restring a 17" NP necklace as well as make several 6-8" extenders. 7,19, 49 strand? weight .25-.46 mm?

I do not use wire for jewelry. It often becomes bent.

My go to was a type of fishing line that contained fibers and wire. I think it was called Spider something. So many people were using it for jewelry making that the rights were sold to a company who makes jewelry supplies.
Do a search for Fire Wire. It is available from Michaels Craft store. The exact thing I have used for jewelry since the 1980’s. It usually last for over 25 years, sometimes longer.
I recently had a necklace I made in 1986 finally break. It only broke due to getting caught on something.


Interesting. Found Beadalon WildFire and it appears to come in .15 and .20 mm with 6lb and 12lb strength. Is 12lb strength really strong enough if it catches on something? My logic (read “Lack of knowledge”) says to look at the Beadalon 49 strand which claims to be soft and supple therfore more difficult to kink yet stronger than the thread types.
I’d appreciate an opinion on what guage wire should be used to make a clasp as well!

I don’t often make beaded jewelry, but when I do I use Softflex or beadalon stainless coated wire. I would use the 12lb, but I always opt more - even when less would be fine. If you’re making your own hook - I would not go less than 14g sterling wire either hard or manually hardened, ditto for the ring - and everything needs to be soldered closed. I usually give everything a tug before calling it done - better the piece breaks / pulls loose at my table than out and about.


SpiderWire is a braided fishing line that offers higher breaking strength with a smaller diameter profile. good stuff for flipping in and around underwater junkyards where the big fish like to hang.

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Agreed about testing before wearing. Would hate to have to crawl around looking for 50 or so NP. I’ve never tested the clasps on our necklaces and never thought about whether or not they are sterling also.
I NEEDED an extender last month and used a piece of bolo cord and paper clip and that worked for me but would like to learn the ‘right’ way for the future.

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Thanks Steve. I’ll take a look at this as well.

i love this solution. i have a metal sensitivity, and i can only wear a sterling necklace once a week or less, to allow my skin to recover. I’d love a non-metallic extender like this. I can wear sterling elsewhere on my body, but the back of my neck gets ANGRY!!!

Fire Wire, sold for jewelry making was once called Spider Wire fishing line.
There is a long story about the history and why it was changed into something to use for jewelry.
I used the original Spider Wire for many years. It is great for jewelry making and lasts a long time.

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this is perfect for proper “oyster” pearls, but “Navajo pearls” are made of sterling and would cut through this like a knife through butter.


Sterling? Oh wow, i didnt realize that, so no silk thread. Lol

My Navajo pearls are strung on fine sterling chain.
Just like squash blossom necklaces.
Like @jemez2 said, the edges of the holes are sharp and will slice though silk cord.
Or any kind of fabric cord, really.


Can you show us these Navajo pearls you are talking about?
Maybe you have some other kind of beads there.

Those silver beads are Navajo Pearls

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Those are beautiful, no i have never see them before. The picture you originally posted was kind of dark. I remember trying to get a look at the Pearl’s but i couldnt really tell from the pic what they were or what they were not. I have a lot to learn thats why i love Turquoise people!